Choosing the right flooring for your home design is no simple task. There is so much to consider between the different types of hardwood flooring available, length and width of the individual planks, color choices, and personal considerations like which flooring flows best with your existing furniture. Oh, and don’t forget to consider your pets. If you are choosing a hardwood surface they can be susceptible to scratches and some hardwoods are more resistant to that. Learn more about the considerations you should make when choosing the right hardwood flooring and see why I personally recommend checking out Lumber Liquidators.
How to Pick the Right Hardwood Flooring For Your Home Design
*This post is in partnership with Lumber Liquidators, my love for their brand and all opinions below are 100% my own.
Choosing the right plank size.
When choosing hardwood flooring for your home, it’s important to consider the bigger picture. Planks can generally range in size from 2 ¼ inches wide up to 6-inches wide and the size you choose can change the feel of your home. Some planks can even reach up to a foot wide! These are less common, but the option is there should you choose.
Smaller width planks are great options for smaller rooms. Laying the planks so that they run the longest width of the room can also help open up the space. Narrow planks are better in areas where humidity fluctuates because the smaller planks need less room to expand and contract.
Stick with the thinner planks if it’s a more contemporary look that you’re after. Thinner planks mean there is less chance of large knots in the wood. The clean lines also lend themselves to a more sleek feeling.
I personally prefer the large planks which are excellent if you’re looking for a rustic or cozy look. The large planks, generally bigger than 4-inches wide, allow for more grain variation and knots in each individual plank. This helps give your space more character, helps to hide dirt & dust, and allows the floor to tell it’s own story in a sense. Take into consideration that the larger the plank, the more they will expand and contract as humidity changes throughout the year. So, if you’re living in places like Florida or Louisiana, you might want to think twice before installing those beautiful large planks.
There is a big advantage to larger planks. They tend to be less expensive to install because fewer planks mean a faster installation time which in turn can save you money. Who doesn’t like that?
You can find tons of options in plank sizes at Lumber Liquidators. We were blown away by their variety and selections and they can set you up with samples too.
Matching your flooring with furniture.
Your hardwood floors will last a long time if you take care of them so it’s important to choose wisely. Maybe you’re a creature of habit and your decor hasn’t changed over the years. Or, maybe you like to keep up with the latest trends and frequently spice things up. Choosing a floor to compliment your decorating style is important to avoid giving your home an identity crisis.
Lightwoods that are mostly grey or whitewashed are great options if you’re going for a coastal, beachy vibe. Throw in some teal and navy blue accents and you’re quickly transported to the shores of Key West. The lighter hardwoods are also versatile enough that they can convey a rustic, farmhouse feel with a quick change of furniture and decor. If a boho chic living space is more your thing, you guessed it- light woods do it again! Yellows found in pine and birch varieties are great for mid-century modern and Scandinavian inspired spaces.
If you lean more towards a traditional decor, the hardwoods with hints of red will complement your space well. Mahogany and cherry have been top choices for generations. The red can be a bit overwhelming, so it’s important to pair these floors with blue or green accents. French Provincial furniture looks stunning with these hardwood shades.
Make sure to find a lumber retailer that allows you to check out samples like Lumber Liquidators. It really helps you to narrow your choices down.
What to consider with dark woods versus light woods.
Dark woods convey a more contemporary design. They show less dirt and they are generally easier to care for. Minor scuffs from furniture and shoes tend to blend in better. However, sometimes when sunlight shines through a window, dust can be illuminated that may have been hidden before. It’s also easier for streaks to appear after using hardwood safe cleaners. These are relatively simple fixes though and shouldn’t scare you away from the beautiful, darker shades.
Like with any light-colored floor, light woods show dirt quicker than the darker options. Scratches can also be more visible and scuff marks stick out like a sore thumb. Lightly shaded floors are great for smaller spaces as they open up a room and invite more light in. They are also versatile in design and allow you more opportunities for change as your style preferences transform in the coming years.
There are always exceptions to the rules though, my Virginia Mill Works hardwood floors in Barcelona White Oak from Lumber Liquidators are light in color but each plank has quite a bit of variation in it and they have some texture in the planks from being lightly wire-brushed both of which allows them to hide a lot of the dust & dirt from normal wear.
Choosing flooring with varying planks.
One fun design element to consider is using planks with varying sizes or colors. Planks that vary in width and length can add a really fun element to the room and give your living space a one-of-a-kind design.
Some hardwoods even have planks that vary slightly in color (similar to mine here). This gives your room dimension and allows the natural variations in the wood to shine through in different perspectives. Floors with varying planks are great for a rustic or coastal feel.
Picking a good floor for pets.
You don’t have to choose between pets and floors anymore. There are plenty of options available for pet lovers of all sorts! Always consider your four-legged friends when considering your flooring options. They will be running to the front door to greet your guests and their nails can cause wear and tear on your floors if you don’t consider your options beforehand.
Brazilian cherry, hickory, oak, and walnut floors are great options for pets. These woods are harder than others and therefore they are more resistant to scratches. Engineered wood (above) is another great option. The more durable hardwoods can be a little bit more expensive but they can be refinished several times if ever needed.
You can also help your floors by keeping pets nails trimmed and filed too.
Engineered versus traditional hardwood.
Traditional hardwood planks are solid pieces of wood, whereas engineered hardwood is composed of layers of both plywood and hardwood. The visual result is the same and both options give stunning appearances. Engineered hardwood is available in all of the hottest trends as well as the traditional options. They have grains and knots and offer the same great textures as natural hardwoods. Check out the engineered wood floors I chose from Lumber Liquidators– I am completely obsessed with them.
Engineered hardwoods are significantly less expensive and they can be installed in all areas of your home. They are much more suitable for basements and bathrooms when paired with a proper moisture barrier. The unique construction of engineered hardwood makes them a lot less likely to warp with time. And, when properly cared for, engineered hardwoods can last a lifetime just like their traditional hardwood floor counterparts.
How Barcelona White Oak transformed our home.
We ended up with Virginia Mill Works Barcelona White Oak from Lumber Liquidators and these floors paired with our new white cabinetry and new furniture finally gave me the open beachy vibes I’ve always dreamed of. Check out the four reasons I am completely OBSESSED with my new floors here.
You can learn more about the different types of hardwood flooring option, along with other flooring options as well, at your local Lumber Liquidators. Their staff is incredibly knowledgable about their flooring options and they can help you find the perfect flooring for your home.
You can also check out their really cool Picture It! technology which allows you to upload a photo of your current flooring and use that image to apply new flooring options onto the photo so you can see what that option would look like in your home. Comparing my Picture It! photo with the end product I was impressed with the accuracy of the technology. It helped a ton when we were trying to decide between several options.
Overall, I am completely in love with the flooring we chose for our home. Not only is it beautiful, but it is also durable to handle 5 kids 3 little pups and hides so much dust that accumulates throughout the day.